Fighting to reduce child marriage and for higher school retention, by increasing girls’ and women’s literacy and numeracy skills and confidence and empowering them to make informed choices.

DEGEP was developed to provide functional literacy skills for rural girls who have not been participating in formal education. These girls are the most at risk of becoming child brides and teenage mothers. Girls who become child brides have the poorest health, education, economic and development outcomes.

The first DEGEP focus involved 120 out of school rural girls from Central Malawi.

These girls are acquiring functional literacy and numeracy skills by participation in a six month program facilitated by volunteers from the local university and primary schools from the area.

Participation in this literacy and numeracy program helps to build confidence in these young women so that they can have a better appreciation of their life potential and the choices that they will face.

Once their confidence in their own abilities has been improved they are invited to participate in training about the benefits of education and the consequences of child marriage. Graduates from this program are invited to participate in further a developmental and support program to enable them to become leaders and advocates for education and the risks associated with child marriage within their communities.

The Mkukula Girls Network is being established to amplify girls voices against the harmful traditional and cultural practices child and or forced marriage.

DSEGEP was developed with the assistance of  the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund.

You can help TAWINA fund more literacy and numeracy programs for rural girls at risk of child marriage.

To date 79 women, 560 girls, 36 boys and 93 men have participated in this program.


Agatha Andrea is a girl who had never been to school. Agatha is a very happy girl having learnt how to read and write through our literacy classes. She is still shy but she comes to Bwalo la Atsikana programs frequently and is receiving close attention as her story is most significant as well as being among the most vulnerable girls at 16.

One girl from Jumpha (Takondwa girl club) lamented that ‘if only you came last year, my friends would not have been married. They are all regretting’. She went on to mention the names of her friends.

Help empower local girls to advocate for education and speak out against child marriage!